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U.S. Olympic Team Trials Marathon Round Table Quotes - Thursday


Becky Wade

On her hometown’s support

Houston has been awesome and supportive. The Houston Marathon and Houston Marathon Foundation in particular have really stepped in the last few years and helped take my training to a whole new level. I feel like I am in a really great place right now. There are nine Houston qualifiers in the Trials, which is more than we’ve had in quite a few years. I just feel really fortunate to be here representing a place I’ve lived for 10 years.

Kellyn Taylor

On tactics

I think it’s going to be a pretty aggressive race. There are going to be a lot of women in the race that are capable of running very fast times. So it might be slower overall but it’s not going to be over 2:30; that’s for sure. I think it’ll be around 2:26 for the team, which is still a pretty quick time. We’ll have to see how it plays out.

Annie Bersagel

On training the last few months

I’m in Colorado training and have been there a little over two months. I have a lot of experience training at altitude just from growing up in Colorado, so I’m really comfortable with that.

On tactics

I have to stay on my feet, first and foremost. (Have a) well-executed plan to do what I’m supposed to do and shut out the noise a bit. A little luck, I think everyone needs it for a great race.

On if there’s anyone specifically she’s looking out for

I know there’s a lot of women who have a good shot at making the team on paper. And there are certainly a few who haven’t been talked about because they’ve qualified with the half marathon instead. You can’t underestimate anyone, especially in a marathon where crazy things happen. Even more so in a championship race when you don’t have rabbits, things happen. You’re not out there to run a time; you can’t get flustered.

Serena Burla

On racing a loop course

We’re all going to be out there running on it, so I’m happy we went out there (last week) and looked at it prior to Saturday to have it in our heads. You go over it in your head just to be prepared for what’s ahead. I’ve run races with loop courses before and it is what it is. You have the momentum of the crowd every time around and you know where your coaches and support staff are.

Bobby Curtis

On the mental and physical aspects of marathoning

There’s a point in every marathon where, for me it’s 18 miles, you feel like king of the mountain. You can do anything. And then your legs start to go and you start to think to yourself, ‘am I going to make it?’ I’ve had marathons where that occurred at three miles and in Chicago, it occurred at 25 miles. So I just hope that feeling of ‘my legs are about to go and I’m going to fall apart’ happens with half a mile to go rather than three miles to go. I think there’s a lot of strategy involved. Some person could have the mind to make a move with four miles to go and you think, ‘should I go too? Is it a bad decision? Do I go now and capitalize later?’ You have to be tuned in to what your body is saying.

Elkanah Kibet

On competing in his first championship as a professional

I feel good about it. It’s challenging but this has been a good experience. I’ve never raced in a championship before. I tried to go slowly and be calm with this, but I’m not worried about the heat. I’m worried about the marathon itself. It’ll be hot for everyone. This is my first time in LA and I’m so excited to run on Saturday. I haven’t looked at the course yet, but I don’t think we’ll get lost on a loop.

Nick Arciniaga

On pre-Trials training

The Star Wars half marathon did more for me than I originally expected. I was going to use it as a tune-up race and try to run a marathon pace, but between Christmas and New Year’s, I got a little quad injury. So that kept me off running on the ground for about two weeks. I ran in an alter-G and ran at 80% of my body weight. I wanted to be really cautious. Disney was my first time on ground after the injury and 65:49 was what I wanted to hit on a hot day in a marathon, so it was very encouraging for me. I can still do this and I’m right on pace with what I want to do and where I want to be.

Matt Llano

On getting a course preview in December

We came as a training group right before Christmas. This race is going to be really easy to break down into smaller segments, which I like doing with the marathon. There’s obviously that two-mile first loop, two miles on Figueroa, the stretch on USC and then back on Figueroa. It’s easier to navigate and wrap your head around. So it just helps the race make sense.

On training with a group this time around

We’ve been training with our training group really hard and we’re as ready as we can possibly be. I’m in the best shape I’ve been in a long time, so we’ll just have to see what comes on Saturday.

Fernando Cabada

On the level playing field

I haven’t run the course yet, but I don’t race courses. I race people. I’m here to race people. I’m not trying to make it fancy and worry about the turns. I’m a veteran; I’ve been racing on the roads for over 10 years. It’s all about getting top three or the highest place I can possibly get. I’m not concerned about weather or heat or turns. There’s so much I could stress myself out about and I can’t waste time on that. I’m just here to get top three.


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